The Routledge History of Childhood in the Western World  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge History of Childhood in the Western World

Edited By

Paula S. Fass

ISBN 9781138820616
Published November 6, 2014 by Routledge
548 Pages

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Book Description

The Routledge History of Childhood in the Western World provides an important overview of the main themes surrounding the history of childhood in the West from antiquity to the present day. By broadly incorporating the research in the field of Childhood Studies, the book explores the major advances that have taken place in the past few decades in this crucial field.

The volume is composed of three parts. The first part explores childhood from the Ancient World through to the Middle Ages and Early Modern Europe. The second part examines the fundamental aspects of childhood and the life of children in the West since 1600. The essays address issues such as family, work, law, sexuality, and consumption. The chapters think beyond national and continental boundaries so that readers are informed about general trends in the West, while still alert to differences in gender, class, race, and time.

The final part focuses on aspects of children’s experiences in the modern world. This section explains how childhoods have developed in distinct contexts and among specific children by using the growing literature on modern childhoods in various locales and at particular historical moments.

Including essays on all the key topics and issues, The Routledge History of Childhood in the Western World will define how the history of children and childhood can best be understood, in the longue durée and comparatively, while still acknowledging the importance of and encouraging scholarship on specific groups, periods, places, and life course divisions. This important collection from a leading international group of scholars presents a comprehensive survey of the current state of the field. It will be essential reading for all those interested in the history of childhood.

Table of Contents

Introduction. Part I Childhood in the Ancient World, the Middle Ages and Early Modern Europe. Part II Creating Childhoods in the Western World Since 1600. Part III Special Children at Special Times or Places.

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Paula S. Fass is Professor of the Graduate School and Margaret Byrne Professor of History Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley. Her publications include Children of a New World (2007), the Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society (2004), Kidnapped: Child Abduction in America (1997) and Reinventing Childhood After World War II, edited with Michael Grossberg, (2012).


"Paula Fass has assembled a stellar cast of historians who from a range of perspectives explore the emergence of a modern and privileged status for childhood in the western world. Scholarly and accessible, the essays provide a compelling narrative of changes in ideas of childhood and in children’s lives." - Hugh Cunningham, Emeritus Professor of Social History, University of Kent, UK